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Mailing List - Frequently Asked Questions - Technical

III Technical data, Errors, and Testing
III.A How many people are on this list?
III.B How do I send a "test" message?
III.C My message didn't appear on the list.
III.D My message bounced back to me. Why?
III.E I'm not getting all the messages.
III.F Your computer unsubscribed me!

III.A - How many people are on this list?

List membership varies between 800 and 1,000 people. Many are what we call "Lurkers," who subscribe but don't ever post. Lurkers are welcome. Only about 15 to 50 messages are posted per day to our list. You can tell an ENG-LINCSGEN message in your Inbox, because it starts with "[LIN]".

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III.B - How do I send a "test" message?

Don't! You will annoy everyone else on the list. If you think something is wrong, here's the best way to find out:

  1. Post a query about your family or a surname interest to the list. You should see it come back to you within 20 minutes.

  2. If you don't see the posting within 20 minutes, STOP! Don't keep posting over and over again. An e-mail server is possibly offline. When it comes back up, all that backlog will be posted.

  3. Send another subscribe request to the list. If you are already subscribed, it will simply be rejected. If you got bounced off the list, this will add you back on.

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III.C - My message didn't appear on the list.

Sometimes your message doesn't post or doesn't post right away. The typical reasons are:

  1. You are not using your subscribed address. You can only post from the address you used to subscribe to the list. Otherwise, your message gets bounced to the listowner with the subject line "Not a subscriber". This is done to prevent spamming of the list.

  2. The Rootsweb e-mail server(s) are down for maintenance.

  3. The Rootsweb e-mail server(s) suspects your e-mail of being Spam. It is being held for review.

  4. The Rootsweb e-mail server(s) returned your message because it had HTML or Rich Text content or an attachment.

  5. A mail forwarding server is down for maintenance.

  6. Your ISP's mail server is down for maintenance. Note: No one guarantees the delivery of e-mail.

  7. You are on the Listowner's list of people to be reviewed before allowing postings.

  8. Your own ISP is rejecting your incoming mail. Sometimes because they think our list is a spammer because of the number of messages transmitted. You will need to work with your ISP to resolve this.

  9. The message is so long that the Rootsweb e-mail server refuses to forward it. Remember that e-mail is intended to be "short and sweet," focused on a single issue. If you quote back the whole Digest to the List, that's a good reason to have your mail rejected.

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III.D - My message bounced back to me. Why?

Sometimes your message won't go to the list. Instead, it comes back to you with an error message. The typical reasons are:

  1. You had an attachment on your message. It might be something as innocent as a business-card graphic, but Rootsweb doesn't allow attachments to be sent to a list. This reduces the chance of virus infections spreading.

  2. You didn't send it to the right address. Spelling counts. Use: ENG-Lincsgen-L@rootsweb.com

  3. You have your e-mail set to use Rich-Text or HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) format. While these allow for some neat features, like coloured font, bolding, italics, etc., not all e-mail systems support them. And HTML format allows certain kinds of viruses to spread. So to stay compatable with everybody, set your e-mail to "Plain-text." If you are uncertain how to do that, use the Help feature of your e-mail software.

  4. AOL users (and maybe CompuServe as well?), your e-mail software defaults to HTML format. To send e-mail to the list:

    1. Compose email in the usual way,
    2. Right click in the Text box,
    3. Left click Select All (at the bottom of the menu),
    4. Right click the text box (again),
    5. Left click Text,
    6. Left click Normal,
    7. Then send the email in the usual way.
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III.E - I'm not getting all the messages.

Some days the mail volume is low and there just aren't a lot of messages. But some reasons why all messages don't get delivered are:

  1. You have filled up the disk storage ("Quota") allowed for e-mail. Once you delete some old messages, new ones should start to flow in.

  2. Your ISP rejects the message(s) due to technical problems at their end.

  3. Your ISP rejects a particular message because it violates a rule used to screen for viruses.

  4. You are no longer subscribed (see below).

  5. Rootsweb servers may be down for maintenance, repair or upgrade.

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III.F - Your computer unsubscribed me!

Yep, it happens. Rootsweb will unsubscribe you after four e-mails are returned within a short period. Commonly, this is caused by:

  1. You've had a change of e-mail address and forgot to unsubscribe under the old address and resubscribe under the new one. When the old one expires, even if it had forwarding set, it will cause you to be unsubscribed.

  2. Your available quota (disk space) was exceeded for four messages in a row.

  3. Your ISP is rejecting mail, either to you or from Rootsweb.

  4. Your ISP suspects Rootsweb of being a spammer because of the volume of mail. You must tell your ISP that you indeed want Rootsweb mail.

Do not ask the Listowner to resend all the missed mail to you. He/She does not have time to find out when you were unsubscribed and which messages you might be missing. Use the Archive.

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Last updated on 5-May-2003
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